Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat - NL

by Tim Heaney on April 26, 2010 @ 13:00:00 PDT


Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

In fantasy baseball, the closer position remains volatile. Rarely does every closer hang on to the job for an entire season - injuries, poor performance and managerial decisions can cloud a team's bullpen picture.

Should you be concerned about a struggling stopper? Which relievers are climbing the depth chart? Are any injuries popping up?'s Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat keeps you informed when you're looking for saves.


Job security (JS) score 1 (unstable) to 5 (untouchable)
Health (H) score 1 (injury-prone) to 5 (durable)


Mound meetings

  • Chad Qualls built on a gift-wrapped one-out save Friday with a clean one-frame closure Sunday (two strikeouts, 21 pitches) for the Arizona Diamondbacks. For all his struggles, Qualls has shut the door in four of six attempts this year. That bodes well for 'Zona, which chose to wait out his struggles.
    He received a vote of confidence from skipper A.J. Hinch before Friday's contest, which is probably solidified by the struggles of the rest of the 'pen. Hinch noticed Qualls has picked up his velocity and is looking less timid in his delivery. Qualls' sustained groundball dominance and deflated strand rate should also allow you to have confidence in him.
  • Brad Lidge (elbow, knee) threw a scoreless inning at Double-A Reading Friday despite allowing a single and a walk on 20 pitches; he was pitching on back-to-back days for the first time during his recovery after a Thursday side session. He'll appear Monday for Reading, as well.
    He said his knee is healing faster than his elbow, but both felt OK after the outing. Lidge could be activated within the week if he progresses well in the next few days, but Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lidge has plenty of time to make more adjustments. Lidge is still within the allotted 30-day rehab window; his first rehab outing took place April 10.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks RP Chad Qualls
    Qualls: back on track?
    The Colorado Rockies' Huston Street (shoulder) continues to inch his way back. A long-toss session from 160 feet Saturday should lead to a throwing session off the slope of a mound Monday or Tuesday. There still isn't a timetable for Street's big-league return, meaning Franklin Morales has some more time to ply his trade as the fill-in.
  • The Leo Nunez Slider of Death continued its swift, punishing march through ninth-inning opponents with a Saturday save. The pitch has added credibility to the Florida Marlins' righty; only three of the 24 batters he has faced since his first game have reached - two came on walks. He's throwing the pitch more often against righties, giving them indigestion at the dish. Suggestion for the slider's nickname: White Castle.
  • Wait, there's another emerging, punishing slider, right? Matt Lindstrom's new best friend helped produce the righty's two-save weekend, which gave him six straight successful conversions for the Houston Astros.
    His walk in Saturday's wrapup was his first of the season. With Lindstrom taking hitters "Back to School" - Rodney Dangerfield-style - it's nice to see a consistent complement to his Triple-digit Lindy fastball, which is finally getting more respect.
  • Wake up, K-Rod, we need you! A previously slumbering Francisco Rodriguez enjoyed a scoreless two-save weekend, allowing just one hit and one run combined.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Hot Seat: AL | NL

Fantasy baseball closer depth charts: AL | NL

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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